View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Brexit
9 April 2019updated 07 Jun 2021 1:21pm

MPs vote for an extension but this parliament is no closer to resolving Brexit than before

By Stephen Bush

MPs have voted by an overwhelming margin to endorse Theresa May’s proposal to seek an extension to the Article 50 process.

The Speaker of the House, John Bercow, opted not to select an amendment that would have sought a longer extension than the one envisaged by Theresa May, or one that would have shortened the timeframe below even the 30 June date proposed by May.

That avoided testing the will of the Commons as far as the genuine length of the extension, which will be set by the other 27 nations of the European Union and is as yet unknown which could potentially have set up an awkward stand-off, or convinced the other member states that British politics are now so dysfunctional that a no-deal Brexit is inevitable.

But just 131 Conservative MPs backed an extension, which highlights the difficulty of reaching a Brexit accord with this parliament: there is no arrangement capable of securing a reliable majority from both the majority party and a majority of MPs.

Although most Tory MPs are loath to use the extension for another election, there is also a great deal of opposition to using it to soften Brexit or to hold another referendum. But one of those things is going to have to happen because as long as this parliament remains in place there will be a majority against the one other resolution to the Brexit deadlock: a no deal exit.  

Content from our partners
Inside the UK's enduring love for chocolate
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.